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Supreme Court Upholds Indiana Voter Identification Law:

Opinion here; Justice Stevens, joined by Roberts and Kennedy, and Justice Scalia, joined by Thomas and Alito, were in the majority, though there's an internal split among the two groups on some aspects. Hope to have more later. [UPDATE: Skimmed the opinion and didn't find that much I could say that others haven't been saying, so I probably won't have much more on this, at least today.]

Happyshooter:
This is going to have an effect on urban democratic voting, in particular voting by the dead.
4.28.2008 11:43am
Tony Tutins (mail):
One step closer to national ID cards for everyone.

States will have to provide ID cards for free to avoid poll tax concerns. Even so, requiring ID cards will likely keep many non-drivers, such as the poor and elderly, from voting.
4.28.2008 11:49am
andy (mail) (www):
when you have two three-justice opinions, why is one the leading opinion, and the other secondary?
4.28.2008 12:02pm
AntonK (mail):
Mr. Tutins. I agree! What an affront to our laws and sensibilities! Can you imagine, having to prove that you are who you say you are when voting. Simply ridiculous!
4.28.2008 12:03pm
Pol Mordreth (mail):
Tony,

Even so, requiring ID cards will likely keep many non-drivers, such as the poor and elderly, from voting.



I'd have to disagree. Without a photo ID, you cannot buy alcohol or tobacco, cash a check, open or close a bank account, use a lawyer or sign a legal document (notary services), file for assistance, social security, or medicare, see a doctor while using insurance, get a prescription, etc. Would the numbers of people who don't do any of these things but yet want to vote really be that high?

Respectfully,
Pol
4.28.2008 12:06pm
ithaqua (mail):
"Can you imagine, having to prove that you are who you say you are when voting. Simply ridiculous!"

It's horrible, simply horrible. Disenfranchising all those dead people and illegal immigrants - why, Chicago might even go Republican!

"States will have to provide ID cards for free to avoid poll tax concerns. Even so, requiring ID cards will likely keep many non-drivers, such as the poor and elderly, from voting."

Well, I support the Founders' vision of an America where only property owners could vote, so the disenfranchisement of the poor doesn't concern me much - as for the latter, just require the elderly to show ID for their Social Security benefits, and it'll all fall into place :)
4.28.2008 12:07pm
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
Yes, it is going to have an impact on a very small number of otherwise eligible voters. And that seemed to be the argument of the plaintiffs/petitioners. But what was not considered by them was that an illegal overvote is just as bad as someone deprived of a vote in this way. My view is that this opinion imposes a bit of sanity into the discussion.
4.28.2008 12:08pm
Tony Tutins (mail):
Can you imagine, having to prove that you are who you say you are when voting.

1. The lack of voter ID has not been a problem for the first 250 years of our nation's existence.
2. Everybody in my precinct knows who I am -- why do I need to show them ID?
3. This is just Republican mischief to obstruct poor and elderly voting.
4.28.2008 12:09pm
Tony Tutins (mail):
Pol: For most if not all of your examples, a photo ID is a substitute for personal knowledge. And who cashes a check in the ATM age?
4.28.2008 12:11pm
Patrick Wright (mail):
Andy,

Perhaps I should leave this question to some of the former USSC law clerks that post here, but I think that at the post-argument conference the Chief, if in the majority, assigns the case. If not, the assigning goes to the Justice in the majority with the most seniority. It is therefore likely that the initial vote was 6-3 in favor of the constitutionality of the law (although it is certainly possible that some votes might have shifted as opinions were circulated) and that Stevens was assigned to write the lead opinion in the case. Justice Scalia probably agreed with the result, but did not like the reasoning of Steven's proposed opinion and therefore decided to write his concurrence.
4.28.2008 12:16pm
John Burgess (mail) (www):
TT: Some of us live in big cities, where even at the precinct level it is not possible for election workers to know all individuals. And what about those who move? Should they be deprived of their vote until the election workers get to know their faces? How many elections do you think that will take?

When I first moved to FL, I got my Voter ID card--complete with balloting location--at the same time I got my drivers licence, fishing license, etc. A one-stop shop.

The Voter ID card is only tentatively valid in elections here if I do not also present a photo ID. And lo! I have a voter ID in the form of that drivers license I got at the same time!

I suspect you would not like the level of voter fraud--or even honest electoral error--exhibited over the last 250 years if you saw the actual figures.

But go ahead and blame Republicans if it makes you like yourself bitter better.
4.28.2008 12:23pm
Pol Mordreth (mail):
Tony, even in the ATM age, there are people who still cash their social security checks, their unemployment checks, etc. And with an ATM, they had to have a photo ID to open the account in the first place under federal law. and no, in none of my examples is personal knowledge allowed as a legal substitute for a photo ID. No photo ID for the notary? You can't transfer that car title. and so on.

Respectfully,
Pol
4.28.2008 12:25pm
whit:
". This is just Republican mischief to obstruct poor and elderly voting."

no, it's to obstruct illegal voting. who ARE all these poor and elderly without any id? i deal CONSTANTLY with the poor and elderly. i don't run into them.

and the law is always about tradeoffs. if we require ID, we make it slightly more inconvenient to vote for the TINY %age of the population that does not have ID. as long as states provide state ID cards for free (as they should if they require them to vote), it's not a poll tax, and it's a tiny inconvenience to get one if you don't have one.
4.28.2008 12:27pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
whit.

Tony gets it. The poor and elderly--read illegal immigrants, multiple-location voters, felons, the late lamented--generally vote dem. The P&E, to the extent they are minimally competent, which they are, can manage this hurdle. It's the ringers who will have the problem, and that's why it's a problem.
4.28.2008 12:32pm
JoshL (mail):

1. The lack of voter ID has not been a problem for the first 250 years of our nation's existence.


While I note that you sound like you're being sarcastic, I'd just say:
c.f. Bleeding Kansas, for a start.
4.28.2008 12:32pm
Hoosier:
Now my right to vote in this state is elevated to the same status as my right to by a Lotto ticket!

We HAVE overcome!
4.28.2008 12:34pm
SIG357:
"Everybody in my precinct knows who I am -- why do I need to show them ID?"



That's an interesting approach to law and order. "My local police know who I am. Why do I have to carry a drivers license?"
4.28.2008 12:37pm
ERH:
I think the "majority" opinion is well-reasoned and persuasive. In essence how does going to the DMV for a photo id more burdensome than the old days when you had to go to the court house to register to vote?

My guess is the new democratic administration and a democratic congress will get together and expand motor voter to force states to issue photo id's anywhere registration is done.
4.28.2008 12:38pm
Hoosier:
The irony of one of the major objections: The elderly are about the only group that can be counted on to vote. They are the people least likely to be excluded by a small "hurdle."

Twnety-somethings, on the other hand, could be almost completely excluded from voting simply by requiring them to go to an actual building and sign their name to a piece of papaer. ("I'll do it when it goes online.")
4.28.2008 12:38pm
SIG357:
"The lack of voter ID has not been a problem for the first 250 years of our nation's existence."




Not for the Democratic party, no. I've noticed a tendency by many Democratic partisans to regard their party and the country as one and the same.
4.28.2008 12:43pm
Stranger (mail):
What strikes me as odd is that the majority concedes that there isn't s single instance of voter impersonation occurring in the entire history of Indiana and points to a single voter in Washington as the only evidence of voter impersonation occurring anywhere in the US in recent history. Given that the law apparently is a solution in search of a problem, I cannot fathom how it was upheld in light of the burdens imposed on voters lacking photo ID.
4.28.2008 12:44pm
SIG357:
"My guess is the new democratic administration and a democratic congress will get together and expand motor voter to force states to issue photo id's anywhere registration is done."




To anyone who walks in the door and asks, with no proof of identity neccessary.
4.28.2008 12:45pm
Rich B. (mail):
Whit,

That may be why Scalia wants Stevens to write the opinion. I was think about it from the other side, actually.

Let's say Stevens (in this case) is on the fence but leaning toward the majority position. He has some reservations, though, and wants to make clear that he isn't willing to go as far as maybe Thomas and Alito are, so he says he'll vote with them, but only if he can write the option and draft it narrowly.

In Congress, you hear arguments all the time along these lines. "Even Democrats like Joe Lieberman" (or "Even Republicans like Arlen Spector") are voting for the bill . . .

You might expect it less in the Supreme Court, but it seems like you don't, so I thought there might be a different motivation.
4.28.2008 12:45pm
Rich B. (mail):
Eh, never mind. Wrong thread.
4.28.2008 12:46pm
Old Grouch (mail) (www):
In order to short-circuit uninformed speculation about the "difficulty" of obtaining Indiana's voter ID, I'd suggest that prospective commenters check out Indiana Secretary of State - Photo ID and associated pages (in particular, the "exemptions" page) first.
4.28.2008 12:50pm
SIG357:
"the majority concedes that there isn't s single instance of voter impersonation occurring in the entire history of Indiana "




How do you tell if voter impersonation occurs, in the absence of any voter ID? I don't see how the majority can "conceed" an unknown.


There have been numerous instances throughout the US where more ballots have been cast than there were voters on the rolls. That IS vote fraud. The mere fact that the fraud cannot be traced back to a particular individual does not make it otherwise.
4.28.2008 12:50pm
Tony Tutins (mail):
To me this ruling means more government control over our lives, which is why I'm surprised to read so many approving comments here. And I don't know where SIG lives, but I don't need to carry a government ID to live my every day life. I do carry my drivers license when I drive, but driving is of course a privilege I had to earn. The last time I actually had to show my ID to anyone was when I flew.
4.28.2008 12:54pm
Ryan Waxx (mail):
There does exist disparate impact on some voters, but it is of a "neither beggars nor millionaires may sleep under bridges" variety, which is not unconstitutional.

To counter the demagogues on this thread, have you even considered that it is Republicans, not Democrats, that would feel the pinch most from this decision?

Both parties have a significant amount of poor and elderly voters, but in general the city poor, which are democrat strongholds have massive organization to get people to the polls by the democrats. This machinery is easily adapted to get people ID's.

But this machinery does not exist, and for population concentration reasons would not be as effective for the rural elderly and poor, in which you'd find more republicans. And if there is 'disenfranchisement' happening, here is where it would be.

A primary example of this is Pennsylvania, where you have the Philly and Pittsburgh democrat voting machines competing against the far more republican remainder of the state, which is one of the oldest populations in the U.S.. Assuming that the machine in those two cities gets 'their' people legal to vote more effectively than the entire scattered rest of the state does, a photo ID requirement would flip this state to the democrats, if you assume the ID has any appreciable effect at all(which I do not).

Oh, and BTW TT, are you seriously claiming that a valid reason to reject a law is because a version that addresses new technology didn't exist for 250 years? Well, I guess we can shut down the legislature, since no new laws are needed!
4.28.2008 12:55pm
andy (mail) (www):
Patrick -- thanks much.
4.28.2008 12:59pm
Colin Koffel (mail):
Ohio's 2006 voter ID law created significant obstacles for students who are qualified electors. At Oberlin College, for example, students receive mail at a central mailroom and register to vote at their dorm addresses (all but around 350 students live on campus). Providing identification that has one's registered address is very difficult or impossible for many students. The workaround is voting absentee, which is arguably less secure than voting at a polling place.

A LWV of Ohio study of the 9 million votes cast in Ohio's 2002 and 2004 elections found only four instances of voter fraud. Four. Yet we've lost hundreds of voters every election in just one town in Ohio because of voter ID laws. The "cure" is far worse than the "harm."
4.28.2008 1:01pm
Hoosier:
I quite honestly understand why lack of evidence of voter fraud causes Stranger to question the decision, and indeed the legislation. But we've had some serious episodes in certain counties, including, most recently, in elections in Lake County. (Muni and judicial retention votes I think. But I'll have to check.)

This particular episode never came to any indictments, but was a shot across the bow to Indianapolis, which finally passed the bill in question. So Stranger is correct. But as much as I hate to say it, the politcs here in the "Crossroads of America" can look a lot like those in my native Cook County. Only with less money changing hands.
4.28.2008 1:07pm
Sean O'Hara (mail) (www):

2. Everybody in my precinct knows who I am -- why do I need to show them ID?



And who cashes a check in the ATM age?


Repeat after me: "I am not a representative sampling."

Where I'm at, the poll workers don't know me from Adam, and all I have to do to vote is say, "I'm Sean O'Hara," and then say yes when they ask if my address is thus-and-such. If I know the name of someone in an adjacent district who doesn't plan on voting, it would be trivial for me to vote again.
4.28.2008 1:10pm
Dave N (mail):
Supposition based on extensive Internetresearch is not an adequate substitute for admissible evidence subjectto cross-examination in constitutional adjudication.
In the let's tie disparate threads together department, Justice Stevens' observation at footnoate 20 seems very apt when applied to the citation of semi-anonymous poster BruceM in an appellate brief.
4.28.2008 1:11pm
Philistine (mail):

How do you tell if voter impersonation occurs, in the absence of any voter ID?


Off the top of my head--you could tell when someone comes in to vote and the name has already voted. Or, as polls are generally staffed by locals and other voters are often locals, you could have a poll worker (or other voter) realize a person is not who he says he is.


There have been numerous instances throughout the US where more ballots have been cast than there were voters on the rolls. That IS vote fraud. The mere fact that the fraud cannot be traced back to a particular individual does not make it otherwise.



Well... yes. But then such fraud has nothing whatsoever to do with voter ID laws.

My feeling is a real concern about voter fraud would result in changes made to absentee ballots, but for some reasons that doesn't really appear to be a major issue for most of those railing about fraud.
4.28.2008 1:11pm
Stranger (mail):
SIG - Apologies, the majority concedes that there is no evidence in the record of a voter impersonation ever occurring in the history of Indiana. Better? And there have been plenty of investigations into voting irregularities in recent elections, including in Washington, where a single voter is believed to have committed voter impersonation. The evidence that this occurs, as compared to other forms of vote fraud, is extremely scant.

And you are correct that there have been instances of vote fraud replete throughout the history of the United States. There is scant evidence at best of any instances of voter impersonation, the only type of voter fraud that ID laws address. Ballot box stuffing, miscounting, absentee ballot fraud, voter registration fraud, felons or other disqualified voters voting in their own names, and vote buying are all much more effective means of vote fraud that are untouched by voter ID laws.

Hoosier - My understanding is that the fraud that occurred in those elections involved absentee ballot fraud. Voter ID laws do nothing to address the very real problem of absentee voter fraud.
4.28.2008 1:12pm
Mark Buehner (mail):
How do you tell if voter impersonation occurs, in the absence of any voter ID? I don't see how the majority can "conceed" an unknown.


Precisely. Absense of evidence is not evidence of absense, particularly when you CANT look for it.


Ohio's 2006 voter ID law created significant obstacles for students who are qualified electors.


Come on. College students can't get lunch without a photo ID.
4.28.2008 1:13pm
Just Dropping By (mail):
Without a photo ID, you cannot buy alcohol or tobacco, cash a check, open or close a bank account, use a lawyer or sign a legal document (notary services), file for assistance, social security, or medicare, see a doctor while using insurance, get a prescription, etc. (emphasis added)

Maybe it's different in some other state, but I've never asked a client for a photo ID and I've never heard of another lawyer asking for it from their client except in the context of having something notarized.
4.28.2008 1:14pm
DangerMouse:
Given that the law apparently is a solution in search of a problem, I cannot fathom how it was upheld in light of the burdens imposed on voters lacking photo ID.

That's because you think "unconstitutional" means "bad law." They're not the same. You seem to believe that the Court should strike down laws as unconstitutional if they're bad laws. Unfortunately, you're another example of people who want the Court to legislate from the bench and to overturn laws that were enacted through the democratic process. I find it amazing that so many people want to be ruled by an unelected elite.
4.28.2008 1:17pm
Ryan Waxx (mail):
Colin:

Funny, you must live at one of the 3 colleges left in the country in which the students aren't required (either explicitly or to get services you need) to have photo ID already.
4.28.2008 1:18pm
some dude:
Don't ask people who they are. Just give them a purple finger. Give convicted felons a permanent purple finger tatoo.
4.28.2008 1:18pm
Mark Buehner (mail):

Off the top of my head--you could tell when someone comes in to vote and the name has already voted.


Ah. And what is the mechanism to report this? Or is it FAR more likely that it would be either considered a clerical error or simply forgotten 10 seconds later. I argue the opposite, the fact that this DOESNT get reported in a nation of 300 million is a pretty clear indication that its being actively ignored. In a sample population that large there simply must be double votes, its statistically imperative. The fact that you can only find 1 example indicated that the gathering of that data is hopelessly flawed and trying to draw any kind of assumption from it is dangerous.

Or, as polls are generally staffed by locals and other voters are often locals, you could have a poll worker (or other voter) realize a person is not who he says he is.


Again- this MUST happen across the country to some degree. The fact that there is no way to assess how often it happens is troubling in itself.
4.28.2008 1:18pm
Colin Koffel (mail):
Mark Buehner:

Come on. College students can't get lunch without a photo ID.

A true and completely pointless observation. A photo ID (with name, birthday, and school ID #) issued by a private institution doesn't satisfy Ohio's voter ID law.
4.28.2008 1:20pm
Mark Buehner (mail):
A true and completely pointless observation. A photo ID (with name, birthday, and school ID #) issued by a private institution doesn't satisfy Ohio's voter ID law.


In order to get a school ID, you need some other form of identification in the first place, no? Moreover the fact that someone can manage to get their school ID seems like a good indication that getting a state ID, drivers license, passport, ect isnt an overwhelming burden.
4.28.2008 1:22pm
SIG357:
"Don't ask people who they are. Just give them a purple finger."



It's pretty sad that Iraq has better means of ensuring ballot integrity than we do here in the US. I understand the same is true in Mexico. It's a little humiliating.
4.28.2008 1:33pm
Pol Mordreth (mail):
just dropping by
I probably wasn't as clear on that as I meant to be. In the context of legal documents, every one I have ever had to sign needed a notarized signature, whether they were prepared by an attorney or not. Since most people only need to see attorneys to generate legal documents (wills, etc) I lumped in attorney services with notary services. You are correct that seeing a lawyer doesn't need a photo ID, but for most people, most end products will. IANAL, so there may be more end products that I just don't know about.

Respectfully,
Pol
4.28.2008 1:33pm
Old Grouch (mail) (www):
Colin, have those Oberlin students actually established residency at Oberlin? Indiana addresses the question here: Indiana residents attending college in Indiana and here: Residents of other states attending college in Indiana. Executive summary: If you establish residency, you'll most likely have sufficient documents (driver's license) to vote. (Non-drivers are eligible for a free state ID.) If you haven't, then you should be voting absentee wherever you are resident.
4.28.2008 1:42pm
Kazinski:
Given that the Supreme Court held in Hiibel that someone could be arrested for merely refusing to show ID to a cop, why wouldn't the SC think that showing ID's to vote would be an undue burdon. If someone can't go out on the street without an ID, why should they be able to go out on the street to vote without one?
4.28.2008 1:47pm
SIG357:
Stranger

".. you are correct that there have been instances of vote fraud replete throughout the history of the United States. There is scant evidence at best of any instances of voter impersonation, the only type of voter fraud that ID laws address."



I fail to understand why you think that voter ID can ONLY prevent "voter impersonation". In other words, that you can't vote as me.

Implemented properly, it can also prevent a legal voter voting in multiple locations. Many Americans are registered to vote in more than one state.

Again, with proper imlementation, it can prevent a legal voter from registering as multiple fictious persons with fictious addresses.

Lastly, at least ten percent of the people living in America are NOT American citizens. Some are legal resident aliens, many are illegal aliens. If even one percent of that number bother to vote, something they can very easily do at present, it's enough to tip dozens of elections at levels ranging from local government all the way to the national level. It is a statistical certainty that this occurs. Without some form of voter ID it's impossible to tell the extent of the problem.
4.28.2008 1:47pm
Tony Tutins (mail):
Kaz, I fear you mischaracterize Hilbel. From wikip's summary: The Nevada Supreme Court had held that the Nevada statute required only that the suspect divulge his name; presumably, he could do so without handing over any documents whatsoever. As long as the suspect tells the officer his name, he has satisfied the dictates of the Nevada stop-and-identify law.
4.28.2008 1:54pm
MarkyMark (mail):
WTG, SCOTUS on an excellent decision!

As someone who went without a car for many years due to a phobia of driving, I must say that I never had a problem getting proper ID or going to a DMV. It was called walking, grabbing a ride with a friend, getting a taxi, or public transportation.
4.28.2008 1:59pm
Colin Koffel (mail):
Old Grouch:

Colin, have those Oberlin students actually established residency at Oberlin?

To qualify as an elector in Ohio, a person must be a United States citizen, at least eighteen years old (or for a primary, turn 18 by the general election), and a resident of Ohio for at least thirty days prior to the election (Ohio RC §3503.01). Ohio offers a set of rules for determining residence: "That place shall be considered the residence of a person in which the person’s habitation is fixed and to which, whenever the person is absent, the person has the intention of returning." (§3503.02)

Establishing residency has nothing to do with obtaining documents that could satisfy the voter ID requirement.

Some students choose to vote absentee at their parent's address. I, and others, choose to vote here because I've lived in Ohio for 9+ months a year for the past three years. I feel much more in touch with this community than I do with my parent's community.

We've worked closely with the LWV, County Board of Elections, and the Secretary of State's Office to ensure compliance with all laws, including residency requirements.

Mark Buehner:

In order to get a school ID, you need some other form of identification in the first place, no?

No.

Moreover the fact that someone can manage to get their school ID seems like a good indication that getting a state ID, drivers license, passport, ect isnt an overwhelming burden.

When I first enrolled at Oberlin, I simply picked up my school issued ID on the first day.

Over the past few years, student groups and other organizations that care about America's democracy have been successful in lowering Ohio's barriers to participation. Public universities, as government entities, can issue documents to their students that satisfy the ID requirement. And before Ohio's primary, the Ohio Secretary of State issued a memorandum that allowed colleges that provide utilities to issue utility bills (even if for $0) to students that can be used as valid ID.

A comprehensive analysis of voting in Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota by OSU's Election Law @ Moritz program concluded: "States should avoid instituting practices that might constitute barriers to voter participation in the name of preventing fraud and focus on refining the checks against insider fraud."

Voter fraud generally isn't a problem here, especially when compared to election fraud.

Heck, the DOJ has only convicted 52 people of federal voter fraud out of 196,139,871 votes cast in federal elections since October 2002.
4.28.2008 2:01pm
MarkyMark (mail):
I've never heard of a school that doesn't require a birth certificate or equivalent before allowing students to sign up for classes.
4.28.2008 2:04pm
plutosdad (mail):
"The lack of voter ID has not been a problem for the first 250 years of our nation's existence. "

Yes it has. If you lived in East St. Louis, or Chicago, or Milwaukee in any of the last few elections (or Seattle even a few years ago) you'd easily see the problems that occur when there is absolutely no enforcement, no requirements, nothing at all. Just names and ballots. Officials "find" boxes full of votes that are used in recounts but weren't in the original, etc. Ridiculous.
4.28.2008 2:05pm
Smokey:
A photo ID requirement just makes it harder to cheat. Truth be told, that's why some folks are so upset.
4.28.2008 2:15pm
SIG357:
Voter fraud generally isn't a problem here, especially when compared to election fraud.




I fail to see the distinction. Voter fraud is election fraud. And election fraud consists of either the failure to count legitimate ballots, or the counting of illegitimate ones. Illegitimate ballots ARE voter fraud.
4.28.2008 2:19pm
Brian G (mail) (www):
In my first lecture in a political science class, I will never forget the professor writing this one the board:

"The Rules Reflect the Interests of Those Who Made Them."

In that light, I look at those who think it is somehow unconstitutional to actually require people to show ID to vote and wonder why they are so worried about it.

Of course, we already know the answer.
4.28.2008 2:22pm
Ryan Waxx (mail):
I fail to see the distinction. Voter fraud is election fraud.


I'll translate:

"Bush stole the election so therefore its OK when the dead vote for us! Fascist!!"
4.28.2008 2:25pm
Tony Tutins (mail):
I've never heard of a school that doesn't require a birth certificate or equivalent before allowing students to sign up for classes.

Not for my last three degrees.
4.28.2008 2:25pm
Brian G (mail) (www):

That's because you think "unconstitutional" means "bad law." They're not the same. You seem to believe that the Court should strike down laws as unconstitutional if they're bad laws. Unfortunately, you're another example of people who want the Court to legislate from the bench and to overturn laws that were enacted through the democratic process. I find it amazing that so many people want to be ruled by an unelected elite.


I guess this guy isn't a Lochner fan.
4.28.2008 2:27pm
SIG357:
"Voter ID laws do nothing to address the very real problem of absentee voter fraud."



That surely depends on the particular voter ID law. What you should have said was that voter ID laws need to be made stronger. And that absentee voting needs to be both curtailed and the ID of the voter who does use it verified.

Voting in America works on the honor system. That was more or less workable back in the days when the role of government was much less and the stakes were smaller. And when 10-15% of the people in America were not legal and illegal aliens. It's not workable today.
4.28.2008 2:28pm
Colin Koffel (mail):
SIG357:

I fail to see the distinction. Voter fraud is election fraud. And election fraud consists of either the failure to count legitimate ballots, or the counting of illegitimate ones. Illegitimate ballots ARE voter fraud.

You're correct. My word choice was poor. What I meant to say is that the overwhelming evidence (in Ohio and from the DOJ) suggests that individual voter fraud isn't a problem. The real and significant threats to election integrity are caused by insiders (fixing rolls, finding boxes of ballots, etc.) or other large-scale disenfranchisement schemes (e.g. shutting down an opponent's phone lines on election day or distributing false and threatening election notices in poor neighborhoods).

From an economic perspective, the incentive for an individual to engage in voter fraud is incredibly small.

And, unless I missed it, no one has addressed the push toward less secure absentee voting created by voter ID laws. (Ohio voters had to meet one of a select number of criteria before voting absentee before the voter ID law, now anyone can vote absentee for whatever reason).
4.28.2008 2:30pm
Ryan Waxx (mail):
So, TT, who did they sign your "3 degrees" to? Anonymous?

Did they just take your word for it in regards to your residency status, or your actual name?

And if they did just take your word for it, as you seem to be implying, then isn't your college engaging in fraud by issuing documents (like utility bills) meant to prove a person's identity, when in fact they don't know for sure?
4.28.2008 2:31pm
U.Va. 3L:
I've never heard of a school that doesn't require a birth certificate or equivalent before allowing students to sign up for classes.

Seriously? I didn't have to show anything like that when I did my undergrad work in Ohio or for law school here in Virginia. I just showed up.
4.28.2008 2:35pm
Happyshooter:
The University of Michigan Law School was all up in business when I was admitted. They really wanted to prove that my military time made me a non-resident of Michigan. They were wrong. They demanded my military home of record page from my SRB and Michigan voter registration records.

Then University Housing demanded a copy with raised seal of my marriage license. That was because I was hetro, though. Gays just signed a declaration of love form at the housing office.
4.28.2008 2:44pm
AntonK (mail):

1. The lack of voter ID has not been a problem for the first 250 years of our nation's existence.
2. Everybody in my precinct knows who I am -- why do I need to show them ID?
3. This is just Republican mischief to obstruct poor and elderly voting.

Mr. Tuttins, you're being transparently disingenuous. The prima facia truth is, the Democrats are now unable to win a national election without the votes of persons dead, and illegal aliens. It's as simple as that; you know it and I know it. Peace out.
4.28.2008 2:44pm
anonthu:
To me this ruling means more government control over our lives, which is why I'm surprised to read so many approving comments here.

That's an interesting perspective, to see it as "government control over our lives". I would imagine that much of the comments here approve because voter ID cards give greater legitimacy to the process by which legally enfranchised citizens freely choose their government.
4.28.2008 2:44pm
DiverDan (mail):

What strikes me as odd is that the majority concedes that there isn't s single instance of voter impersonation occurring in the entire history of Indiana and points to a single voter in Washington as the only evidence of voter impersonation occurring anywhere in the US in recent history. Given that the law apparently is a solution in search of a problem, I cannot fathom how it was upheld in light of the burdens imposed on voters lacking photo ID.


Stranger, you just don't get it - without a photo ID requirement, it is amazing that even 1 case of a Ghost Voter was found; the reason for the lack of evidence is quite simple -- without a Voter ID Requirement, Ghost Voting is about the closest thing there is to the "perfect crime". It is IMPOSSIBLE to identify at the poling place unless the REAL voter shows up, which will NEVER happen if the REAL voter happens to be dead, or in a vegetative state, or incarcerated. Even if, by some miracle, election judges discover, after the fact, that some imposter voted, it will be nearly impossible to identify the offender without video evidence of EVERY voter at the poling place, and it will still be impossible to undo the vote. The historical evidence of "ghost voting" is very real -- JFK would not have carried Illinois in 1962 without the legions of Daley Operatives driving winos around the city to "Vote Early and Vote Often." Without Illinois, JFK loses the Election, and Richard Nixon gets a chance to show what kind of President he might make without the baggage of Paranoia he had to carry knowing that the Presidency was stolen from him by Democratic Election Fraud.

Contrary to Stranger's assertion, this is not a "solution in search of a problem" which doesn't exist, it is the ONLY viable solution to an otherwise insoluble problem.

Having read the Opinions, I have to say that it appears Scalia got it dead-on right. This really is an area where the Court needs to set bright-line rules that are easily understood and administered by the States BEFORE the fact, to avoid litigation after the fact that threatens to disrupt or even void an election. The Stevens opinion reaches the right result, but still leaves open the possibility of rampant litigation over every new voter regulation, and threatens precisely the disruption that Scalia says the Court needs to avoid, while the Souter Dissent not only invites new litigation, his position opens the door to litigation (even post hoc litigation] over even the most trivial inconvenience to even a single voter. Stevens appears willing to accept the risk of any number of fraudulent votes to insure that each and every eligible voter may vote without any effort or preparation.
4.28.2008 2:45pm
Darrin Ziliak:

Implemented properly, it can also prevent a legal voter voting in multiple locations. Many Americans are registered to vote in more than one state.


Indeed.
In fact, one of the 'disenfranchised' voters listed in the lawsuit was registered to vote both in Indiana and Florida.


Faye Buis-Ewing, 72, who has been telling the media she is a 50-year resident of Indiana, at one point in the past few years also claimed two states as her primary residence and received a homestead exemption on her property taxes in both states.

Monday night from her Florida home, Ewing said she and her husband, Kenneth, “winter in Florida and summer in Indiana.” She admitted to registering to vote in both states, but stressed that she’s never voted in Florida. She also has a Florida driver’s license, but when she tried to use it as her photo ID in the Indiana elections in November 2006, poll workers wouldn’t accept it.


Read the entire story, as there's plenty more information.

Maybe I'm just too heartless, but her 'plight' doesn't move me at all.
4.28.2008 2:52pm
Chris Brennan:

"[T]he record contains no evidence that the fraud SEA 483 addresses—in-person voter impersonation at polling places—has actually occurred in Indiana"


I'm typically suspicious when conservatives applaud a government regulation of conduct in order to stave off a non-existent problem.
4.28.2008 2:54pm
Ryan Waxx (mail):

Stranger, you just don't get it - without a photo ID requirement, it is amazing that even 1 case of a Ghost Voter was found


Oh, he gets it all right...
4.28.2008 2:57pm
DangerMouse:
I guess this guy isn't a Lochner fan.

You're darn right I'm not a Lochner fan. It's the same substantive due process crap that ultimately resulted in Roe v. Wade. It's another name for legislation by the Court. Unconstitutional does not mean "bad law." But so many people lose at the ballot box that they want to enforce their values by judicial dictat when there is no clear and fundamental reason to do so.
4.28.2008 2:59pm
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):
The prima facia truth is, the Democrats are now unable to win a national election without the votes of persons dead, and illegal aliens.


Question – are zombie Mexicans able to be photographed or are they like vampires who don’t cast a reflection?

Just curious.
4.28.2008 3:00pm
Chris Brennan:
Why not just take a person's name off the voter rolls when that person dies, instead of leaving them on the rolls and forcing others to prove they are not a dead person?

If there's a mix-up, give the presumptive corpse a provisional ballot.
4.28.2008 3:01pm
Elliot123 (mail):
"What strikes me as odd is that the majority concedes that there isn't s single instance of voter impersonation occurring in the entire history of Indiana and points to a single voter in Washington as the only evidence of voter impersonation occurring anywhere in the US in recent history."

Another very interesting statistic would be how many people attempting to vote illegally were turned away at the polls. Also, how many legal voters were turned away? The ID makes it easier for the legals to vote, and harder for the illegals.
4.28.2008 3:03pm
BT:
For those upthread that suggest that Chicago will now become Republican due to this wonderful new law that will thwart the dead from voting, I suggest otherwise.

Now the dead will still vote and vote often except the picture of the deceased will be that of the very alive member of the extended family of alderman, ward captains and city workers that live in Peoria,IL, Scranton, Pa, etc,. You can also bet that there will be any number of "loopholes" (pun intended for you ex-Chicagoans out there) to apply for any picture voting ID card that our wonderful state legislature will come up with that will allow the elderly, disabled, etc,to bypass actually physically having to show up to get their picture taken. And with absentee voting all the rage---Walla!!! Business as usual.
4.28.2008 3:05pm
Darrin Ziliak:
"[T]he record contains no evidence that the fraud SEA 483 addresses—in-person voter impersonation at polling places—has actually occurred in Indiana"



I'm typically suspicious when conservatives applaud a government regulation of conduct in order to stave off a non-existent problem.



But as Faye Ewing shows, the law did work as it exposed her fraudulent Florida registration.

And personally I don't buy her 'I'm so confused' defense at all.
4.28.2008 3:06pm
Russ (mail):
Not for my last three degrees.

Please let me know which institution you went to so that I can get cheap tuition by claiming I am in state and not have to prove it.

You need ID to buy beer, cigarettes, drive, or fly. Saying that you need ID, which most Voter ID laws say the government will provide to you free of charge, is obstructionist are those who are upset that it will be harder to cheat.

One (living) person, one vote. This just helps clarify that.
4.28.2008 3:17pm
k. mccabe:
I dont know - maybe the cost of an I.D. was not an issue when the law was passed. But with the implementation of RealID - some governor's are predicting that it will cost tens of millions to upgrade all the equipment and that the costs will be passed off to the citizens in the form of higher prices for drivers licenses and i.d.'s. If im not mistaken, some states' prices will approach 50 dollars or more.

Fifty dollars for a drivers license may not seem like a big deal to many of us, but for some people, its enough to discourage renewing. Or upgrading to the federal law compliant RealId to get on planes, enter federal buildings, etc... Im sure there are hardship licenses or something for the extremely poor, but im not sure they will know how to take advantage of these things. Applied to what is apparently a non-existent (or verifiable) problem -it seems the cure could do more harm than the disease.
4.28.2008 3:19pm
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):
But as Faye Ewing shows, the law did work as it exposed her fraudulent Florida registration.

And personally I don't buy her 'I'm so confused' defense at all.


And I suppose you didn’t believe Uncle Leo either?

Seriously, who registers to vote in two different States at the same time if they don’t intend to try to vote twice? The tax fraud she and her husband committed alone is enough to make me hope that prosecutors in both States throw the book at both of them which hopefully results in a felony conviction so their ability to vote need never be an issue again.
4.28.2008 3:21pm
Andrew J. Lazarus (mail):

Without a photo ID, you cannot buy alcohol or tobacco, cash a check, open or close a bank account, use a lawyer or sign a legal document (notary services), file for assistance, social security, or medicare, see a doctor while using insurance, get a prescription.
I have not been asked for an ID for alcohol purchase for over 20 years, but you would bring up fond memories if this comment was not so solipsistic. And wrong. Nor have I been asked for photo ID when picking up a prescription. Nor when I opened my last brokerage account, which I did entirely by mail. (This may have recently changed.)

The truth is that in-person voter fraud does not appear to be a problem. Absentee voter fraud does seem to be an occasional problem, but absentees are traditionally conservatives, so we don't see much crackdown there.

Having said that, as long as suitable ID is easy to obtain I think I am OK with it. When Georgia passed a law like this, by the weirdest coincidence there was no DMV anywhere near the poor, black, Democratic-leaning neighborhoods of Atlanta and it was over two hours by bus each way to go there.
4.28.2008 3:29pm
Andrew J. Lazarus (mail):

Please let me know which institution you went to so that I can get cheap tuition by claiming I am in state and not have to prove it. You need ID to buy beer, cigarettes, drive, or fly.

Berkeley. They accepted a notarized affidavit. I don't know current practice.

Drive and fly I will concede, but I assure you I have not needed ID for alcohol (nor would I for cigs, if I smoked) for many, many years.

One might conclude that the pro-ID posters are all young-looking 20-something conservative dweebs who can't imagine being either poor or middle-aged (much less elderly).
4.28.2008 3:34pm
tarheel:
Last I checked buying smokes or beer or getting on an airplane were not constitutional rights. To compare them to voting makes a glib, but legally irrelevant, point.
4.28.2008 3:44pm
William D. Tanksley, Jr:
I'm typically suspicious when conservatives applaud a government regulation of conduct in order to stave off a non-existent problem.


I missed something... What conduct is being regulated here? I have no idea what you're talking about. Unless you're referring to illegal voting, which is already regulated, but with no system for confirming the effectiveness of said regulation.

The truth is that in-person voter fraud does not appear to be a problem.


What sort of evidence would you expect to find if it were a problem? One poster above asks for photographs of "zombie Mexicans"; would photographs of people voting in someone else's name be sufficient for you? Of course, I ignore the fact that photography is generally illegal at voting places, as well as the fact that I'd have to photograph a representative sample in order to have a clue as to whether there was a problem... And I'd also have to associate that with the identity they're claiming.

So forget about that.

Again, what sort of evidence DO you expect to be available?
4.28.2008 3:45pm
Andrew J. Lazarus (mail):
Ways in-person voter fraud can be detected.

1. Voter shows up, and has already "voted". Let's assume, though, that the true voter is complicit, or sick, or dead, etc.

2. Precinct official recognizes impostor. I'm not sure about precinct size nationwide. In my local precinct, at least one poll worker knows me by name, much less sight.

3. Random signature checks. Admittedly, this won't stop the illegal vote in the first place, but if impersonation is such a big problem, show us the non-matching signatures between the registration and the precinct roll. What? You don't have any? Then maybe the problem of in-person voter fraud is apocryphal!
4.28.2008 3:57pm
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):


In deciding whether the requirement creates an undue burden on the exercise of the franchise, it is highly relevant for the State to point out that it isn’t asking voters to do anything that they aren’t already doing on a regular basis in their daily lives. In which cases showing that a photo ID is already required for driving, school attendance, and many commonplace commercial transactions is certainly relevant in weighing that burden.
4.28.2008 4:02pm
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):
Last I checked buying smokes or beer or getting on an airplane were not constitutional rights. To compare them to voting makes a glib, but legally irrelevant, point.


In deciding whether the requirement creates an undue burden on the exercise of the franchise, it is highly relevant for the State to point out that it isn’t asking voters to do anything that they aren’t already doing on a regular basis in their daily lives. In which cases showing that a photo ID is already required for driving, school attendance, and many commonplace commercial transactions is certainly relevant in weighing that burden.
4.28.2008 4:07pm
Mark Buehner (mail):
1. To suggest you can walk into any university in this country in this day and age, say a name, and you picture will be taken and be issued an ID is absolutely ABSURD. Can you imagine the liability if someone with a forged ID collected that easily entered a dorm and raped a student or shot people up? No school would open themselves up to that. No college I ever attended issued an ID card without some form of corroboration, and that was 10+ years ago.

2. This idea that since we havent proven any ID fraud there isnt any is absurd. There is no way to prove voter fraud at the moment, which is the point. This measure is SO simple and uncumbersome the ONLY reason to oppose it is a de facto support for the fraud and keeping it hidden. If it was in any way detectable at the moment we would see more of it purely based on statistics.
4.28.2008 4:10pm
AlanW (mail):
I have no real problem with either the bill or the court's decision, but it does seem like a solution in search of a problem. Given that most Republicans support the bill and most Democrats oppose it, it seems self-evident that Republicans believe making it harder to vote will help them and Democrats believe it will hurt them.

Some comments on here suggest that there's some actual principle at stake here. I don't see anything but politics and I suspect the people arguing the loudest for this bill will soon be screaming about whatever the Democrats come up with to blunt its impact.
4.28.2008 4:14pm
bittern (mail):
While nobody has conclusively proven that vampires are illegally voting, it would be a simple measure to install mirrors at voting places to forestall this dire threat. Anyone objecting to such a procedure is a knowing and deliberate shill for vampires.
4.28.2008 4:18pm
gattsuru (mail) (www):
Where I vote, not a single poll worker knows my name or image; move often enough and work long enough hours and expect that to happen, even in a small precinct.

Admittedly, this won't stop the illegal vote in the first place, but if impersonation is such a big problem, show us the non-matching signatures between the registration and the precinct roll.


How exactly do you plan to do this? Do you know the relative complexity of such a large-scale signature verification? How effective do you think it will be, when in modern days the average Joe passes out signatures at least once a day, and carries several copies on him or her?

I'm not sure you thought this through particularly well.
4.28.2008 4:20pm
Tony Tutins (mail):
cheap tuition by claiming I am in state

Ah, you forced the taxpayers to subsidize your education.
4.28.2008 4:20pm
Scaldis Noel:
AlanW, you said:
Given that most Republicans support the bill and most Democrats oppose it, it seems self-evident that Republicans believe making it harder to vote will help them and Democrats believe it will hurt them.

You leave out an important word, "illegally".

Republicans believe making it harder to vote illegally will help them and Democrats believe it will hurt them. That is the crux of the issue.
4.28.2008 4:29pm
The Unbeliever:
Berkeley. They accepted a notarized affidavit. I don't know current practice.


...and don't you need valid photo ID for the notary? Sounds more like outsourcing by fiat instead of a counterexample.

FWIW I needed a photocopy of my ID to initially enroll by mail, and I had to show it whenever I signed for student loans.
4.28.2008 4:31pm
byomtov (mail):
She admitted to registering to vote in both states, but stressed that she’s never voted in Florida.

Well, I've been registered to vote in two states at the same time. So has virtually anyone else who's moved across state lines, registered in their new home, and didn't bother to notify officials in the state they left. (In fact, I'm a repeat offender).

In deciding whether the requirement creates an undue burden on the exercise of the franchise, it is highly relevant for the State to point out that it isn’t asking voters to do anything that they aren’t already doing on a regular basis in their daily lives. In which cases showing that a photo ID is already required for driving, school attendance, and many commonplace commercial transactions is certainly relevant in weighing that burden.

What "commonplace commercial transactions" that everyone engages in require photo ID? Not everyone drives, and most eligible voters aren't students.
4.28.2008 4:31pm
bittern (mail):
Scaldis,
The other missing word was "legally." Democrats tend to think that making it harder to vote legally will hurt them.
4.28.2008 4:32pm
Michelle Dulak Thomson (mail):
Andrew J. Lazarus,

Absentee voter fraud does seem to be an occasional problem, but absentees are traditionally conservatives, so we don't see much crackdown there.

I see it claimed all the time that absentee voters tend to be conservative, but no one seems to have much in the way of evidence for it. Apparently it's a deduction from two facts: Members of the military, who tend to be more conservative than the American average, frequently of necessity vote absentee; and absentee voters by choice tend to skew affluent.

But "affluent" doesn't mean "conservative," does it? I live in what I think is one of the most liberal counties in the country (Marin County, CA), and judging by the fraction of voters marked "vote by mail" in the voter roll when I show up to vote, roughly four out of five of my neighbors vote absentee. I'm tolerably certain they aren't all voting Republican.

You're right, though, that absentee-ballot fraud seems a much more serious potential problem than does people impersonating registered voters. I happen to think that voter ID requirements are a good idea and that they ought to apply to absentee ballots as well as to in-person voting. Would it be so very difficult to require anyone voting absentee to show up at a post office with ID and to fill out the ballot in the presence of a government employee? Here in CA the state seems to be going out of its way to discourage voting in person in favor of absentee voting — I've gotten gov't mailings offering to make me a default absentee voter. That I don't currently have to prove I'm me to vote in my name seems ridiculous to me, but that CA should deliberately steer me towards even-less-secure voting by mail is even sillier.

Count me impressed, btw, by the number of people commenting here whose polling staff know them by sight. I've voted in person for over twenty years and have never known any of my polling staffers even casually.
4.28.2008 4:37pm
Andrew J. Lazarus (mail):

Do you know the relative complexity of such a large-scale signature verification? How effective do you think it will be, when in modern days the average Joe passes out signatures at least once a day, and carries several copies on him or her?
Somehow despite the difficulty, the Registrar of Voters manages to do this when verifying ballot petition signatures.

Oooops.

You don't need to do a gazillion. Show me one obvious forgery in 1000 randomly-selected signatures and I will agree we have a problem. Or do the Democrats have legions of forgers so well trained that the can walk in and sign a random person's signature freehand?
4.28.2008 4:37pm
Mark Buehner (mail):

You don't need to do a gazillion. Show me one obvious forgery in 1000 randomly-selected signatures and I will agree we have a problem.


Via what mechanism? How do i get ahold of voter logs? Im sure the ACLU would be thrilled if I tried. This is like a bank with no doors, not guards, no cameras, and you're claiming there is no proof money is walking out.
4.28.2008 4:41pm
Andrew J. Lazarus (mail):

I happen to think that voter ID requirements are a good idea and that they ought to apply to absentee ballots as well as to in-person voting. Would it be so very difficult to require anyone voting absentee to show up at a post office with ID and to fill out the ballot in the presence of a government employee?
Why do you suppose Karl Rove and friends aren't making this even-handed and commendable suggestion?

I don't know who is continuing to study the results, but when I first moved to California (1980s), absentee ballot totals were released first and in statewide aggregate they were far to the right of the final results, enough that birdbrained local newscasters saw non-existent upsets in the making.
4.28.2008 4:41pm
SIG357:
I never understand why this is such a big issue. Every other right is understood to be contingent on reasonable restrictions. I can't walk into a store and buy a tank, claiming 2nd Ament rights. Or sell secrets to the Russians and claim free speech rghts. My Fourth Amendment rights have a provision about how search warrants CAN be issued, with probable cause.

As restrictions go, asking people for ID to vote seems utterly trivial.
4.28.2008 4:44pm
Andrew J. Lazarus (mail):

Via what mechanism? How do i get ahold of voter logs?

You don't think the Governor of Indiana can get ahold of voter logs? Really?? I think he can, and that since they vitiate the claim of rampant undetectable fraud, he'd rather not.
4.28.2008 4:44pm
SIG357:
Andrew J. Lazarus


Why do you suppose Karl Rove and friends aren't making this even-handed and commendable suggestion?



Speaking as one of the people whom you doubtless think of as one of Rove's "friends", I assure you I approve of the idea of requiring ID checks for absentee ballots.
4.28.2008 4:47pm
Pol Mordreth (mail):
byomtov:

What "commonplace commercial transactions" that everyone engages in require photo ID?

Well, in my state, all alcohol and tobacco purchases. (Yes, Mr. Lazarus, 100% ID check or no sale. It's a relatively recent law, and it is highly enforced) Another example is most retailers im my area won't let you use a credit card or debit card without spot - checking your ID. Maybe that is a function of the area, but I would estimate that for 3 in 10 transactions at the grocery store or other face to face credit card transactions require ID. Not to mention that you legally must show ID to buy something as common as Claritin, as well as you must provide a photo ID to get a new prescription filled. These are just a sampling.

Respectfully,
Pol
4.28.2008 4:49pm
SIG357:
Show me one obvious forgery in 1000 randomly-selected signatures and I will agree we have a problem.






I'm curious as to how you think that a forgery might be detected. The only method I can think of involves backbreaking and timeconsuming effort, and subjective judgement calls.
4.28.2008 4:50pm
Bob from Ohio (mail):
I like how Colin contradicted himself in his own comments.

First, all those poor Oberlin students without id were disenfranchised.

Then, he points out that photo id is not necessary to vote in Ohio. Among other things, utility bills are ok. The college issued phoney utility bills to accomodate all the fine Democratic voters in Oberlin and the friendly Democratic Secrtary of State was happy to ok the procedure.

Some draconian Ohio law.
4.28.2008 4:56pm
William D. Tanksley, Jr:
"While nobody has conclusively proven that vampires are illegally voting, it would be a simple measure to install mirrors at voting places to forestall this dire threat."

Good one, but don't unnaturalized citizens have a right to vote?
4.28.2008 4:58pm
Russ (mail):
Berkeley. They accepted a notarized affidavit. I don't know current practice

Maybe it's different in California, but last I checked, I had to have an ID to get notarized.

And then Tarheel tries to set up an argument that no one is making. No one claims that buying beer is a constitutional right, just that it requires ID, and I can't help it if your local clerk is not enforcing this particular provision. I get asked, despite being in my mid-thirties.

The point was that nearly everyone already has ID, and most would do so if for no other reason than to buy alcohol. Additionally, if the state is willing to provide these IDs, and get them to you (as they do in Georgia), then there is no "undue burden" on the voter.

An illegal vote is as bad as not counting my vote, for it cancels it out. Those arguing on behalf of the "poor and elderly" are either being disingenuous or exceptionally naive. BTW, didn't those same "elderly" require ID to start social security benefits?

Perhaps I live in an isolated world, but no one I know does not have a government issued photo ID. Perhaps someone can enlighten me to the folks they know without one, and what horrible trials they have had to endure as a result. I'm guessing in today's day and age, these people live alone, never going outside of walking distance of their house, and keep all their money in a box under the bed.
4.28.2008 4:58pm
SIG357:
"I have no real problem with either the bill or the court's decision, but it does seem like a solution in search of a problem."




There are perhaps thirty to forty million non-citizens in the United States. The only impediment to their voting in US elections is their own sense of honesty. That seems like a problem to me.

Note that they won't be detected by anything which looks for "impersonation". They are not impersonating anyone.

Which is why laws like this need to be tied in to the REAL ID act. I am shocked! to discover that Democrats oppose the REAL ID act as well.
4.28.2008 4:59pm
Mark Buehner (mail):

You don't think the Governor of Indiana can get ahold of voter logs? Really?? I think he can, and that since they vitiate the claim of rampant undetectable fraud, he'd rather not



I honestly don't know. But i am POSITIVE people like yourself, Andrew, would have apoplectic fits if Republican governors started pouring over voting records. If the Governor of Indiana ever passed Karl Rove in a reception line you'd be out picketing the governors mansion. So lets not pretend this is a slam dunk issue. Nobody (so far as i know) seriously analyzes voting patterns, and for good reason, it reeks of political intimidation. Like i said, there is no evidence because there is ZERO oversite and nobody is interested in wading into that morass.
4.28.2008 5:00pm
SIG357:
"While nobody has conclusively proven that vampires are illegally voting, it would be a simple measure to install mirrors at voting places to forestall this dire threat."





What sort of fascist are you? That would prevent ALL vampires from voting, not simply the ones who lack the legal right to do so.
4.28.2008 5:01pm
SIG357:
"Last I checked buying smokes or beer or getting on an airplane were not constitutional rights. To compare them to voting makes a glib, but legally irrelevant, point."




Fine. Than let's compare voting rights to other constitutional rights, such as speech, all of which have restrictions on them as a matter of constitutional law. Heck, even the sacred right to abortion has more restrictions on it than the right to vote.
4.28.2008 5:08pm
Mark Buehner (mail):
Hmm. Good poing. Am i to take it fire arms identification cards should be unconstitutional as well? In fact, any attempt to ask for ID when buying firearms? Why are we illegally preventing these millions of poor old people without ID from lawfully owning a firearm?
4.28.2008 5:11pm
bittern (mail):

There are perhaps thirty to forty million non-citizens in the United States. The only impediment to their voting in US elections is their own sense of honesty.

That, plus their absence from the voting rolls?

Is there more likely to be a problem with non-legal voters being on the voting rolls? If you're on the roll, requiring an ID isn't going to screen you out. Clearly I'm missing something here.
4.28.2008 5:12pm
William D. Tanksley, Jr:
"I'm curious as to how you think that a forgery might be detected."

He said "obvious forgery", not subtle forgery. You'd use the same means you use to check petition signatures. I've not heard of this being done, but it would be silly to NOT do it, even more so than checking IDs.

(Something tells me that we don't do it, certainly not routinely.)
4.28.2008 5:12pm
anonthu:
Last I checked buying smokes or beer or getting on an airplane were not constitutional rights. To compare them to voting makes a glib, but legally irrelevant, point.

Hmmm...I would argue that because of its importance, voting should have a higher "burden of proof" than for buying a pack of cigarettes.
4.28.2008 5:17pm
Smokey:
I'm typically suspicious when conservatives applaud a government regulation of conduct in order to stave off a non-existent problem.
Let me point out that you're trying to frame the argument in such a way that those in favor of citizen-only voting are being asked to prove a negative. Nice try, but you fail.
Heck, the DOJ has only convicted 52 people of federal voter fraud out of 196,139,871 votes cast in federal elections since October 2002.
Yep. And just like cockroaches, if you see one, you know there are plenty more around. A major problem is the fact that the authorities have consistently turned a blind eye to voter fraud. No one here is foolish enough to believe that only 52 people cheated in an election during the past six years. The problem is that enforcement of voter fraud laws is almost completely nonexistent in this country.

Voter fraud is rampant among the Left. There were newspaper articles following the 2004 election, in which citizens of EU countries [especially France and the UK] conspired with their U.S. counterparts to request absentee ballots, posing as expat U.S. citizens. Does anyone think this isn't a mushrooming problem?

Notice the huge foreign interest in the upcoming U.S. election? Well, so do numerous leftist groups like ACORN, which no doubt will be happy to provide info about the easiest states to request an absentee ballot from, with the most minimal scrutiny.

Heck, even dog and cat owners have registered and voted in their pets' names. You'd have a better chance of winning the lottery than being indicted for voter fraud. A couple of years ago someone sold his unvoted absentee ballot on ebay, and it made the newspapers. He was told over and over that it was illegal. He did it anyway - and he skated. The message is crystal clear: "We will not prosecute voter fraud."

The world is salivating at the thought of voting American taxpayers' money into their EU/UN pockets. They see the lackadaisical enforcement against voter fraud here. What could a foreign citizen possibly have to worry about by requesting an absentee ballot? There's zero down side.

The Left in this country wants power by hook or by crook, but they're faced with a country that has generally conservative ideals. So they shop for judges who will legislate, and they cheat in elections -- because those things work when the voters reject their ideas. Those insisting that they care about granny's efforts to get a photo ID are really insisting that the present fraud-riddled system should be left as is; granny's fake plight is just window dressing to cover their shenanigans. Robert Mugabe would be proud.
4.28.2008 5:17pm
bittern (mail):
SIG357, maybe there's a misperception somewhere. Photo ID is not normally required in my precinct. However, you do have to verbally identify yourself, and they check whether you are on the rolls. It's not like you just walk in and say, hey, amigo, lemme vote now. Folks vote out of civic participation. If they want to give themselves illegal benefits, they steal cars.

There are plenty of competitive races in my area, although those are mostly intramural Democratic. I talk to enough campaign people and other tense, wary people, but have never heard allegations of illegal voting.
4.28.2008 5:19pm
I was a victim of voter fraud:
Voter fraud happens. It happened to me. I went to vote and found that someone had already voted for me. My name at my address in NYC. Skeptics will probably say that it was more likely a typo, a clerical error. Maybe, but I don't think so. What I do know is that without a voter I.D. requirement, it could never be proved one way or another, and I would not be getting my vote back. That's why I didn't bother to report what had happened, beyond complaining to the local poll workers. The fact that they admitted that others had also complained of being disenfranchised in the same manner didn't change anything, given a system that seemed designed to prevent any evidence of fraud being possible.
4.28.2008 5:19pm
SSD (mail):
When I first read this post all I could think about was the renewed push to grant illegal aliens driver's licenses.
4.28.2008 5:23pm
Michelle Dulak Thomson (mail):
bittern,

Is there more likely to be a problem with non-legal voters being on the voting rolls? If you're on the roll, requiring an ID isn't going to screen you out. Clearly I'm missing something here.

Requiring an ID will obviously "screen out" non-citizens on the voter rolls provided that the requirement is for a state-issued ID contingent on citizenship, won't it? There are two points to the requirement: (1) providing proof that you are X, whose name is on the voter rolls; and (2) demonstrating that you, who are X, are also an American citizen.

Granted that it would be nice to keep non-citizens from getting on to the voter rolls in the first place, of course. But since at present your pet parakeet would have no difficulty registering to vote, isn't an attempt to verify citizenship at some stage better than nothing?
4.28.2008 5:23pm
SIG357:
bittern

How do people get on the roles? I know that in California there is noting to prevent illegals, who make up over half the population in some districts, from voting.

"I talk to enough campaign people and other tense, wary people, but have never heard allegations of illegal voting."

Absent any voter ID, how would you detect illegal voting?
4.28.2008 5:25pm
SIG357:
"If you're on the roll, requiring an ID isn't going to screen you out. Clearly I'm missing something here. "




You are indeed. You should not be on the roll absent ID.
4.28.2008 5:27pm
bittern (mail):
Smokey, in the case I remember, the owner of the absentee ballot was going to sell his vote to the highest bidder, but did not sell the ballot. Does the law restrict the grounds on which a person decides his vote? Kind of an interesting test case of laws and morality. Not that everything interesting should be tested.

I can better appreciate your concern about absentee ballots than all this in-person voter fraud allegation. Y'all crazy on that stuff. Voter fraud is rampant on the Left? You've got no cites. Ever. Voter intimidation is rampant on the Right. So, what are your ideas on purifying the foreign absentee ballots?
4.28.2008 5:28pm
Kazinski:
Russ,
I am claiming buying beer is a constitutional right. Cold dead hands and all, least until it's empty. There are more important things that voting, and that is way up there on my list.
4.28.2008 5:28pm
SIG357:
"That, plus their absence from the voting rolls?"





Hmm, what makes you think that they are not on the voting roles? Given that there are 30-40 million non citizens in America, it seems statistically certain that some of them at least ARE on the rolls. Soem of the laws aimed at getting people registered to vote are so aggressive that I imagine a few non-citizens end up on the rolls even if they don't want to be there.
4.28.2008 5:33pm
bittern (mail):
Michelle, what kind of state-issued ID is contingent on citizenship? I have no such thing.

Why do we even have voter registration if being listed means nothing? The Indiana law seems to be about voting with an ID, not registering with an ID.

Sig357, interested parties would notice if there was a pile of outside people circulating through the precincts, or if known people showed up in the wrong place. One or two, no, but enough to throw an election, sure.
4.28.2008 5:39pm
Mark Buehner (mail):

Soem of the laws aimed at getting people registered to vote are so aggressive that I imagine a few non-citizens end up on the rolls even if they don't want to be there.


A few? Yeh. Try millions. In Illinois all you need to produce is a utility bill and sign the registration swearing to be a citizen (and not a felon). You think MAYBE a few illegals are voting in Illinois?
4.28.2008 5:41pm
SIG357:
What makes you think that they are "outside people". The non-citizen aliens, legal and illegal, are people your rub shoulders with every day.


"what kind of state-issued ID is contingent on citizenship?"

The plan is to make ALL state issued ID contingent on citizenship.
4.28.2008 5:43pm
bittern (mail):
Sig357, you have an amusing way with statistics, but sure, I think you are right that there are non-citizens on voting rolls. I don't see how the Indiana law solves that problem. Aggressive laws to register people? What's that?
4.28.2008 5:43pm
bittern (mail):

The plan is to make ALL state issued ID contingent on citizenship.

Not Indiana's plan. Not any plan I heard of. How many years does a legal immigrant live in the U.S. before becoming eligible for citizenship?

That's a lot of cab rides.
4.28.2008 5:46pm
SIG357:
The "Motor Voter" laws.

Link.
4.28.2008 5:46pm
Mark Buehner (mail):
I dont think we are really as concerned with legal immigrants. They, at least, have shown some respect for the rule of law by being here legally.

Illegal immigrants are already flouting the laws, and it is difficult for them to get state IDs/drivers licenses. Considering there are perhaps 20 million illegal immigrants in this country, it seems like a pretty good place to start.
4.28.2008 5:49pm
SIG357:
Not Indiana's plan. Not any plan I heard of.




If you have not heard of the REAL ID act, I have to wonder if you are really VC material.

I never said Indys plan was contigent on citizenship. It's where this sort of thing is headed which has the left all aflutter.
4.28.2008 5:49pm
kimsch (mail) (www):
re moving across state lines; When I moved to Vermont from Illinois and got a VT DL, I had to surrender my IL DL. When I moved back to IL, I had to surrender the VT DL. My number in Illinois has been the same since I first got a driver's license, except for the 3 characters (1 letter, 2 numbers) which are soundex for the surname. With motor voter, once an out-of-state license is surrendered for the new, in-state license, the old state should be notified to remove the voter from the rolls there. But then that's common sense...
4.28.2008 5:51pm
William D. Tanksley, Jr:
"Hmm, what makes you think that they are not on the voting roles?"

That's not the question here; the question is whether people who aren't on the rolls can vote in the name of someone who is. It's about role playing, not about playing with rolls.

Cleaning up the rolls is a worthy goal, and we need laws for that, too. Simply requiring IDs won't help with that.
4.28.2008 5:54pm
bittern (mail):
Mark Buehner says there are millions of people enrolled against their will by draconian registration laws. Mark, be a Libertarian! Throw off the shackles!
4.28.2008 5:55pm
Mark Buehner (mail):
In order for this debate to have perspective, the sheer numbers involved have to be accounted for. What percentage of illegal aliens does everything think manage to vote? Certainly not zero, certainly not all. Somewhere in between right?

Would 1% be a reasonable estimate?

If so that would be 200,000 illegal votes in this country.

That is AT LEAST 10,000 votes in Florida alone. What was the margin in Florida in 2000 btw?
4.28.2008 5:56pm
bittern (mail):
Sig357, I am sure I am not VC material, but would you, Buehner, Thomson, and Tanksley please conspire for a moment quietly and get your story straight?
4.28.2008 5:57pm
Tony Tutins (mail):
I had to show my birth certificate to register, back during the Cenozoic Era. This is something an illegal alien cannot do.
4.28.2008 6:05pm
Mark Buehner (mail):
Bittern, why not answer my question? Considering all you need is a utility bill, and you can register to vote right online in spanish, what percentage of illegals would you suppose vote?

The catch is, obviously, any reasonable answer you come up with is still going to be WAY more illegal votes than the government has ever tracked down. Which proves the government isnt trying very hard. Which makes this idea that we have no illegal voting problem a farce.
4.28.2008 6:05pm
Mark Buehner (mail):
What state Tony? Im betting you didn't "have to", or at least you dont now. Never settle for the bureuacrats first offer, i bet you could have talked them down to a take out menu and a pinkie swear.
4.28.2008 6:08pm
SIG357:
Sorry bittern, you are jumping to conclusions if you imagine that everyone who disagrees with you is part of a conspiracy. We have no story to get straight.
4.28.2008 6:19pm
SIG357:
Mr. Tanksley

"the question is whether people who aren't on the rolls can vote in the name of someone who is."




I take it that this is the question for you. But I assure you that it is not "the question" for many of us. Voter ID laws should of course prevent "voter impersonation". But that is a subset of the problems they are aimd at.

I doubt if the left would be quite as upset if all that was being threatened was voter impersonation.
4.28.2008 6:23pm
Smokey:
I had to show my birth certificate to register, back during the Cenozoic Era. This is something an illegal alien cannot need not do.
There. Fixed it for you. They've loosened up since the Holocene. Now we have Motor-Voter.

bittern-

Since you apparently think there's no vote-fraud problem, you wouldn't mind if we tightened up the verification process a little, would you? Just in case?

Couldn't hurt. Might help.
4.28.2008 6:25pm
SIG357:
"Cleaning up the rolls is a worthy goal, and we need laws for that, too. Simply requiring IDs won't help with that."





I find those two statements inexplicable. Can you explain? I assume the thought is, "You have to require ID at registration, not just at voting time."

Quite so.
4.28.2008 6:27pm
Anon56 (mail):
This is a big win for Republicans, primarily for the reason that Democrats and their allied interest groups have engaged in widespread and organized election fraud in recent years. Quite simply, it is very rare to find Republicans engaging in the kinds of naked fraud that Democrats do routinely. Hopefully we'll see some Democratic operatives behind bars, where they can join the son of Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis) who did time for election fraud.

Google the phrase "ACORN election fraud" to find a few of the more egregious cases. While the ACORN cases may be egregious, they are certainly not isolated. Note that the ACORN cases occured in at least four different states and that these were the rare cases were ACORN got caught — most of their crimes were never reported. Still don't believe it? Google "wisconsin vote fraud" or "new mexico vote fraud" or "washington vote fraud" for some more cases. The common theme in all of these cases is systematic election fraud organized by Democrats.
4.28.2008 6:33pm
Andrew J. Lazarus (mail):
Mark, I am much more upset about the Governor of Indiana making voting more difficult without evidence gleaned from voter rolls than I would be if he at least provided some evidence.

To be honest, I don't really want to guess how many impersonators vote. Maybe 1 in 10K? 100K? This is a risky and inefficient method of voter fraud. I also have very little idea how many non-citizens are registered. I doubt if it is that many, even though of course legal resident aliens have drivers' licenses, etc. Is the plan to endorse their licenses "Must Wear Glasses. Also Non-Citizen."? I do know that when Republicans are in charge of purging voter rolls, they mysteriously choose methods absolutely guaranteed to remove Democratic-leaning voters disproportionately.

The myth prevalent in the comments is that the Democrats rely on ghost voters and so on to win elections. No one identifies these ghosts because, well, they're ghosts. Just more projection. Republicans cheat when they can (see above link), so they assume everyone else does too.
4.28.2008 6:42pm
bittern (mail):
Mark, I do not have a useful guess of the number. If there's no particular indication offered that voting is restricted to citizens, it's perhaps a fairly large number. More than the 3-digit number cited somewhere above for total known cases of voter fraud, certainly.

So your support for Indiana's plan is that it would make up for overambitious voter registration over-enrollment by requiring photo ID of registered voters when they come around to actually vote. I'm not sure that's super efficient since lots of non-citizens have drivers' licenses. It's not wholly senseless or anything.

If y'all showed a little concern about the story about wholesale disenfranchisement of names in Florida, for instance, and started considering other peoples' votes as precious to them, then maybe your own concerns wouldn't be adjudged to be farces themselves.
4.28.2008 6:45pm
byomtov (mail):
Well, in my state, all alcohol and tobacco purchases. (Yes, Mr. Lazarus, 100% ID check or no sale. It's a relatively recent law, and it is highly enforced) Another example is most retailers im my area won't let you use a credit card or debit card without spot - checking your ID. Maybe that is a function of the area, but I would estimate that for 3 in 10 transactions at the grocery store or other face to face credit card transactions require ID.

There is one grocery store in my area that always requires ID for alcohol purchase. Other alcohol sellers don't. I suppose I shouldn't say I've never been asked for ID on a credit card purchase, but if I have been I don't remember when it was.

Must be lots of crooks where you live.
4.28.2008 6:47pm
bittern (mail):
Smokey, you're right that I think voter impersonation type fraud is negligible. Some people think some folks can't find their ID on the way home from work, or are scared off. I don't know. Seems like a trade-off of fairly minor considerations. Could hurt a little, could help a little. I didn't read all the opinions, but if I were one of the Supremes, I'd probably let Indiana do what it wanted. I'd rule based on the Constitution. If I were a judge. If I knew the Constitution.

But you and several others are making crazy allegations about how the Democrats have cleft ears and stuff. As a political question, that needs a little pushback.
4.28.2008 6:57pm
Anon56 (mail):
Andrew,

The article to which you link poses a vastly different set of facts than the deliberate and intentional election fraud organized by Democrats. Your case is just run of the mill bureaucratic ineptitude, not organized fraud, a conclusion that is supported by the fact that there is no indication that anyone other than civil servants was involved in the alleged wrong-doing. (in my experience, civil servants are about 99% Democrat).

I'm afraid your attempt at moral equivilence fails. I challenge anyone to produce a Republican-organized scheme that is even close to the multiple ACORN frauds.
4.28.2008 6:57pm
SIG357:
"you and several others are making crazy allegations about how the Democrats have cleft ears and stuff"




Cloven hooves, maybe. Not cleft ears. We'e not THAT mean.
4.28.2008 7:01pm
Mark Buehner (mail):

This is a risky and inefficient method of voter fraud.


Risky how? Turn the game around- show me all the illegals locked up for voting illegally. I'd say the risk is virtually zero. As far as efficiency, well again, with zero risk its really just a question of who wants to do it. The idea that only 1 in 10k illegals would want to vote seem farfetched to me. Very farfetched.
4.28.2008 7:01pm
bittern (mail):
Sig357, thank you for adhering to my request and conspiring a bit with Mr Tanksley. Kind of you. Conspiring. It IS what we do here, mind you.
4.28.2008 7:03pm
SIG357:
"I do know that when Republicans are in charge of purging voter rolls, they mysteriously choose methods absolutely guaranteed to remove Democratic-leaning voters disproportionately. "





Funny how purging dead people and felons from the roles disproportionately hurts Democrats.
4.28.2008 7:04pm
SIG357:
Roll's, darn it.
4.28.2008 7:05pm
Perseus (mail):
Over the past few years, student groups and other organizations that care about America's democracy have been successful in lowering Ohio's barriers to participation.

I care about America's democracy and therefore support disenfranchising those under the age of 21.
4.28.2008 7:05pm
Mark Buehner (mail):

So your support for Indiana's plan is that it would make up for overambitious voter registration over-enrollment by requiring photo ID of registered voters when they come around to actually vote. I'm not sure that's super efficient since lots of non-citizens have drivers' licenses. It's not wholly senseless or anything.


I think they should have IDs at both ends. The importance of the ID when voting is that those ALREADY registered would be weeded out.

Lots of non-citizens have licenses, but do lots of illegals? Lets deal with the low hanging fruit. Just because you cant stop every illegal vote doesnt mean you shouldnt stop as many as you can right? Except that right now we arent trying to stop any.

And the forgotten ID is a red herring. You can vote provisionally and show up later with your ID.
4.28.2008 7:05pm
bittern (mail):
Ears, hooves, damn. The edjoocation one gets stuck with these days!

Mark, A. Lazarus was saying voter impersonation is risky and inefficient. One doesn't have to be an "illegal person" to do voter impersonation. Wait, then you become an illegal, right then! Anyway, he's looking at inefficiency from the party or candidate point of view. Much more efficient to send out a midnight mailer.
4.28.2008 7:13pm
eddiehaskel (mail):
Lots of allegations of fraud and yet why have I not seen one cite of successful prosecution.

The Supremes decide that it's their prerogative to interfere in actual voting processes set up by states when it is politically expedient (Gore), but arrive at the completely opposite conclusion this time.

Ah for the prinicipals of our hallowed jurists (with Nino's only "reasoned" reply to "get over it").

How is this not like a poll tax? There is already a remedy for voter fraud if it is proven. This is a blatant sanction of arresting the criminal before the crime.

But I guess that's what the Framers had in my, don't ya'll agree?
4.28.2008 7:18pm
bittern (mail):
Mark, people just aren't that interested in voting. It's not like they give out lollipops or anything.

It's a big country. Do you know how many people vote for the wrong person because they forgot their glasses? THOUSANDS!!! Do you know how many people don't vote because they work on weekdays too far from their voting pavilion? HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS!!! Do you know how long people have to wait in line to vote in poor counties in North Carolina? HOURS!! Do you know how long I have to wait? ZERO. Do you know how many illegal immigrants vote in the whole country? THOUSANDS!!! Y'all please get a grip.
4.28.2008 7:18pm
bittern (mail):

Funny how purging dead people and felons from the roles disproportionately hurts Democrats.

This is the kind of malice that brings this country down, SIG.

As if being dead wasn't injurious enough, you want to tax them and take away their vote too!!
4.28.2008 7:23pm
SIG357:
Somebody will have to explain to me this obsessvive focus on "voter impersonation". I've looked at the text of SEA 483, and I see no mention of "voter impersonation".

I assume that y'all have read the thing before giving opinions on it.


Here it is. If everyone is is discussing a different bill, please disregard everything I've said.

'Cept the cloven hooves bit. That was funny.
4.28.2008 7:24pm
Tony Tutins (mail):
the cloven hooves bit. That was funny.

Everyone knows donkeys don't have cloven hooves. But don't knock cloven hooves; you have to have cloven hooves to be kosher.
4.28.2008 7:35pm
bittern (mail):
Thank you Sig357. Lotta words. Looks like basically you show your drivers' license to vote on the day to the poll-keeper, and they see if you're registered to vote. If they think you're registered, you get a ballot.

It doesn't say anything about voter impersonation. You have to use logic to figure out that if you don't look like the ID you're carrying, they throw you out as a would-be cheater. Very sophisticated logic suggests that if you are registered, and you shouldn't be, that the screen would tend to be ineffective because how well you match up with your ID picture won't correlate very well with your voter eligibility.

Any other questions, please ask.
4.28.2008 7:44pm
SIG357:
"You have to use logic to figure out that if you don't look like the ID you're carrying, they throw you out as a would-be cheater. "



This is true. But cheating comes in different forms. "Voter impersonation", where I pretend to be you, is only one of them. It's good that voter ID can stop voter impersonation, but that only scratches the surface of all the wonders it can bring.


"Any other questions, please ask."




Is it "bitter en" or "bit tern"? These things gnaw at me.
4.28.2008 7:55pm
William D. Tanksley, Jr:
"I find those two statements inexplicable. Can you explain?"

I didn't give much context, did I. I meant to put that in the context of providing ID while voting, which is what I think this post is all about.

And to the person who thinks I need practice in conspiring... Heh, good point. Actually, I've practically contradicted myself in this one thread by saying both that I don't think the evidence for fraud could possibly be collected AND that it would be easy to collect the evidence. Part of that is changing my mind, and part of it is my suspicion that "easy to do" doesn't mean "easy to make politicos accept". For example, it's easy to check IDs when voting; it's hard to make Democrats accept ID checking (no offense, I hope, just concrete instances).

Now, with that said, I suspect someone's probably done it, and published the results. I'd love to see that. Any Democrats here have the link that would prove me wrong? I'm quite ready to admit to being wrong, and I say that with complete sincerity and no snark.

The only thing I could find, after considerable effort searching, was the LWV "study" here (pdf) someone cited earlier. I put that in scare quotes because the methodology is precisely NOT counting signatures; it's simply calling commissioners and asking them "were there any voter fraud cases." Wow, that's incredibly sloppy, both in an ambiguous question ("case" could mean "court case" or "instance") and in attempting to measure the wrong quantity.
4.28.2008 8:09pm
bittern (mail):
I don't know, it's just a government photo ID. I have one of those, but it doesn't prove I'm eligible to vote, or even that I vote for the somewhat more honest party. It doesn't even much help me drive better. I'm sure it will make all your dreams come true, though.

I say biddurn. He says oon-ka-soonk.
4.28.2008 8:15pm
William D. Tanksley, Jr:
"Lots of allegations of fraud and yet why have I not seen one cite of successful prosecution."

No evidence. It's not possible to collect anything of the sort. At least not without an ID requirement (and I don't see it being likely even with one).

"The Supremes decide that it's their prerogative to interfere in actual voting processes set up by states when it is politically expedient (Gore), but arrive at the completely opposite conclusion this time."

Did you miss the Florida SC's doing precisely that? The US SC simply told them that they had no right to do that, and that the deadline could not be moved or changed at the last minute. The Florida legislature could have voted its own slate of electors, of course; the US SC can't rule that out.

"How is this not like a poll tax?"

Since it's not (in fact) a poll tax, there are a million way in which it's not like a poll tax. I presume you're thinking of some ways in which you imagine it IS like a poll tax. Please elucidate.

"There is already a remedy for voter fraud if it is proven. This is a blatant sanction of arresting the criminal before the crime."

This is actually an example of arresting a crime by making it much, much harder to conduct. I don't see how it would increase the number of criminals -- seems like it would outright reduce them, and there's no obligation to arrest anyone (seems like turning them away would make sense).
4.28.2008 8:27pm
SIG357:
it's just a government photo ID. I have one of those, but it doesn't prove I'm eligible to vote



Of course. But you're focusing too much on the particulars of this case. The SCOTUS has now said that requring voter ID is not neccessarily unconstitutional. This opens the door to other and better ID laws. Even, we can hope, ones where you are required to prove that you are eligible to vote. Which makes it a great day for democracy, properly understood.
4.28.2008 8:43pm
SIG357:
"The Supremes decide that it's their prerogative to interfere in actual voting processes set up by states "



I have to say, "actual voting processes set up by states" is a rather creative way to describe the processes which the aptly named SCOFLA was implementing in 2000, having tossed the actual Florida voting laws, the ones passed by the Florida legislature and signed by the governor, into the old circular filing bin.


Well, they do say that people on the left are creative.
4.28.2008 8:54pm
bittern (mail):
From one of the guys sent looking for fraud by Bush &Co: Former U.S. Attorney David Iglesias says of voter fraud: "It's like the boogeymen parents use to scare their children. It's very frightening, and it doesn't exist."
4.28.2008 8:58pm
bittern (mail):
SIG357, how on earth did Tom Delay &his band of villains convince you people that it's the voters who are the criminals, and not the votees?
4.28.2008 9:02pm
bittern (mail):
Oh, Scalia and Florida. What an endless fiasco. The Republican Secretary of State throws people off the list of voters if their name is like a felons, the Democrats in Palm Beach County pick a restaurant placemat game as a ballot, the Democrats on the Florida Supreme Court rejigger the law after it all happens, and then the Republicans on the U.S. Supreme Court jump in with both feet, ripping up the Constitution and splattering mud everywhere. And y'all STILL haven't got all the poor people to stop voting.
4.28.2008 9:08pm
SIG357:
"how on earth did Tom Delay &his band of villains convince you people that it's the voters who are the criminals"





That is a lot of logical fallacies to pack into one sentence. I think I see a non sequitur, an ad hominem, a begging the question, and a strawman.


Did you go to college to learn to do this, or is it a natural gift?
4.28.2008 9:08pm
SIG357:
y'all STILL haven't got all the poor people to stop voting.




I hope nobody in America is paying you several hundred bucks an hour for "arguments" of that quality.
4.28.2008 9:13pm
bittern (mail):
SIG, there's no "logical fallacies." It's a very tricky and unfair "trap question" for you, especially if "Tom Delay &his band of villains" convinced you of no such thing. Tough trap indeed, SIG, but answer the question.
4.28.2008 9:14pm
bittern (mail):

I hope nobody in America is paying you several hundred bucks an hour

SIG, you're letting me down with that comeback and we've bored everybody else to tears. Killed the thread and all. Go read Iglesias' conclusion and then go home.
4.28.2008 9:19pm
Smokey:
To be honest, I don't really want to guess how many impersonators vote. Maybe 1 in 10K? 100K?
That wild guess is orders of magnitude too low. With 24 - 40 million illegals here [probably more than 10% of the population - but nobody really knows, do they?], and literally thousands more flooding across the border illegally every night, it's reasonable to assume that a few million vote, and more will vote in every election. Because there is no downside. Let me give a real-world example of what the illegal alien-enablers have done to our franchise:

Several years ago a Mexican immigrant called a radio program to say that he and his wife had been grinding through the legal immigration process for over 15 years. They were only months away from finally getting naturalized.

The guy was very angry that while they were spending many $thousands to become citizens, doing it the right way, most everyone else just waltzed in and settled down.

But what really steamed him was the situation in Salinas, California, where he and his wife lived. Salinas is an agricultural community that employs thousands of farm workers. The workers get jobs through the labor contractor. He said that one of the requirements to get a job was signing an absentee ballot request. The ballot requests were collected by the contractor and sent to the Registrar, a Democrat [this is California, remember].

At election time the ballots were mailed out, no questions asked, and the farm workers turned in the unvoted ballots to the contractor for a pat on the head and a job.

Yes, it's anecdotal. Even second-hand. But, look what's happening: We now have a [probably] illegal as mayor of L.A., Antonio Villaraigosa - a member of the virulently anti-American separatist group MEChA, and the former speaker of the California state assembly, who routinely "warns" ICE to stop investigating illegals. And Villaraigosa regularly broadcasts on a Spanish language station, telling Mexicans to illegally cross the border.

We also have the President of Mexico telling Mexicans to enter the U.S. illegally as official Mexican policy. This is no exaggeration.

Then there's the odious but incompetent Cruz Bustamante, state senator Gil Cedillo, who regularly demands drivers licenses for illegals, AZ senator Raul Grijalva, who refers to Americans as "cockroaches," CA Rep. Xavier Bacera [another MeCHA member - heck, they all are]. See what's happening?

The Democrats are the prime enablers of this illegal flood of foreign citizens, who now vote in our elections. Hey, it's a lot easier to take over a country this way than with military force. So, thanks for that, liberals: America haters all.
4.28.2008 9:36pm
Smokey:
bittern:
Former U.S. Attorney David Iglesias says of voter fraud: "It's like the boogeymen parents use to scare their children. It's very frightening, and it doesn't exist."
A better quote: "Ain't no one here but us chickens."

Please don't quote Iglesias, another MeCHA member -- who was fired by the president and has an axe to grind. Quote someone credible instead.
4.28.2008 9:45pm
Smokey:
Finally, here's something funny -- Bush talking about closing the border. Keep an eye on the background: clicky
4.28.2008 9:50pm
bittern (mail):
Smokey, what's your accuracy rate? Most of what you say is difficult to corroborate. But MEChA seems to be a Chicano student organization. These guys are still members of a student organization? That might be of concern, eh? Stalking or something? And Grijalva is a Representative, not a Senator.

Did you hear the Salinas story on the radio yourself? It doesn't make too much sense on its own. If it was all done by mail, what's the need of having flesh and blood to go with the virtual voters?
4.28.2008 10:15pm
SIG357:
SIG, you're letting me down with that comeback




Do you have any IDEA how tough it is to come up with good, fresh stuff? Don't pressure me, man.
4.28.2008 10:33pm
SIG357:
MEChA seems to be a Chicano student organization.




Lordy.

Lordy.

Lordy.

It stands for "Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan". They have their own Constitution. It reads, in part;

Chicano and Chicana students of Aztlan must take upon themselves the responsibilities to promote Chicanismo within the community, politicizing our Raza with an emphasis on indigenous consciousness to continue the struggle for the self-determination of the Chicano people for the purpose of liberating Aztlan.




A few helpful translations. "Raza" means "race". And Aztlan refers to the south-western part of the United States.


So the stated purpose of MEChA is to foster a politicized Hispanic racial sentiment with the end goal of taking back large chunks of the United States.


But hey, I'm sure you'll sleep sounder if you go on telling yourself they are just some student group. I mean, it's not like some bunch of white people are coming out with this stuff.
4.28.2008 10:43pm
Brett Bellmore:

The Republican Secretary of State throws people off the list of voters if their name is like a felons,


Um, Bitten, you are aware, aren't you, that the Secretary of State in Florida is incapable of throwing even one person off the voter list? Now, the Secretary of State could, hypothetically speaking, send down to local elections officials, (Who can remove people from the voter rolls.) a list of people who ought to be checked to see if they're felons, because their names are like those of known felons.

Continuing this scenario, some local elections officials could skip the "checking" part, and just remove those people from the registration list, in the process disenfranchising legal voters. While other local elections officials could ignore the list entirely, leaving actual felons free to vote illegally.

In both cases, serious malfeasance. In both cases, committed by somebody other than the Florida Secretary of State. Clear?
4.28.2008 10:44pm
Smokey:
Did you hear the Salinas story on the radio yourself?
Yes, I did. Maybe I didn't communicate it well enough. What didn't make much sense? Salinas is a tiny dot on the state map. Multiply what's happening there with what's happening across the country, and you'll get an inkling of the problem -- unless you deliberately don't want to understand, in which case you're a part of the problem. I'd rather believe that you support the rule of law, but hey, you never know around here.

And if you actually think MeCHA is simply a student organization and nothing more, then there's not much I can do to help you understand that particular problem. But I tried.
4.28.2008 10:49pm
bittern (mail):
Brett, what is it that Ms Harris was so proud of having accomplished?
4.28.2008 10:50pm
bittern (mail):
Smokey, I'm trying to figure out how close to true you are. Whether Bustamante is "odious" didn't seem easy to check, but I could find out whether Grijalva is a Senator and whether he is in MeCHA. He's not, and he's not.

The bit about the Salinas story that doesn't make sense to me is why, if the grower is mailing in voter registrations and mailing in filled-out ballots, why does he even have to get any real people to sign the stuff; why not forge everything from the get-go?
4.28.2008 10:55pm
SIG357:
but I could find out whether Grijalva is a Senator and whether he is in MeCHA. He's not, and he's not.





Then you'd better let Wikipedia know, because they say he is. A MEChA member, that is.
4.28.2008 11:04pm
bittern (mail):
SIG, somebody must keep fiddling with the wiki, cuz every time I look it says "While at the university, he was a member of MEChA.[2]" Was, not Is. My clever riposte was "These guys are still members of a student organization?" In my experience, those conservative political types twist every single link. Then, when you've got four links, everything's out of proportion. It's lies, lies, it's all lies!
4.28.2008 11:11pm
SIG357:
Ah, he WAS a MEChA member! But he's not NOW!

That makes it all right then. In any case, MEChA are merely some student organization, so what matter if somebody was or is a member?

Addmittedly they are a student organization dedicated to the overthrow of the United States. But lets not be judgemental about these things. It's not like they are white supremacists. No siree, they are dedicated to a different race.
4.28.2008 11:16pm
SIG357:
In my experience, those conservative political types twist every single link.




You are free to look at the link I gave you and see what MEChA are about in their own words. I think it was Jimmy Stewart who said "You can't handle the truth!"
4.28.2008 11:19pm
bittern (mail):
Dec. 4, 2000 | If Vice President Al Gore is wondering where his Florida votes went, rather than sift through a pile of chad, he might want to look at a "scrub list" of 173,000 names targeted to be knocked off the Florida voter registry by a division of the office of Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris. A close examination suggests thousands of voters may have lost their right to vote based on a flaw-ridden list that included purported "felons" provided by a private firm with tight Republican ties.

Early in the year, the company, ChoicePoint, gave Florida officials a list with the names of 8,000 ex-felons to "scrub" from their list of voters. But it turns out none on the list were guilty of felonies, only misdemeanors. The company acknowledged the error, and blamed it on the original source of the list -- the state of Texas.

Florida officials moved to put those falsely accused by Texas back on voter rolls before the election. Nevertheless, the large number of errors uncovered in individual counties suggests that thousands of eligible voters may have been turned away at the polls.

Florida is the only state that pays a private company that promises to "cleanse" voter rolls.The state signed in 1998 a $4 million contract with DBT Online, since merged into ChoicePoint, of Atlanta. The creation of the scrub list, called the central voter file, was mandated by a 1998 state voter fraud law . . .

- Greg Palast.

And around we go.
4.28.2008 11:20pm
bittern (mail):
SIG, I looked at the MEChA national constitution you sent and also the wikipedia on them. I don't know Raul and I don't know what MEChA membership at his school entailed. But I was just trying to evaluate Smokey's post. He was off, maybe not more than the average newscast, but off.

Psst! Byrd was in the KKK.
4.28.2008 11:27pm
bittern (mail):
No, not web linky, every link in the chain of incrimination.
4.28.2008 11:29pm
SIG357:
Geez, Greg Palast? A self described "progressive" wrting at Salon? You couldn't get a quote from a more objective souce? Say, Al Gore's lawyer?

"The creation of the scrub list, called the central voter file, was mandated by a 1998 state voter fraud law "




Such is the awesome power of the VRWC that it foresaw the future and set the wheels in motion in 1998 to "disenfranchise' Al Gore in 2000.


A close examination suggests thousands of voters may have lost their right to vote based on a flaw-ridden list that included purported "felons" .... the large number of errors uncovered in individual counties suggests that thousands of eligible voters may have been turned away at the polls



Well there you go. A cast-iron case.
4.28.2008 11:30pm
bittern (mail):
Yep, it's a cast-iron case compared to winger fantasies of vote-starved felons, bronze insurrection, and Smokey's one radio caller. My documentation edges yours, though admittedly not by much (leaving out Mr Scalia, forgive and forget). Vote suppression vs vote fraud. If y'all weren't such crazy shits, I'd probably agree with youse on photo ID. But you are.
4.28.2008 11:57pm
bittern (mail):
To quote better writers, here's where your enemy is coming from. Two quotes.

Let's get this straight; the Democratic Party is just as much opposed to vote frauds as is the Republican party. We will settle for giving all legally registered voters an opportunity to make their choice [in November 1964].


The "vote fraud" fantasies are tinged by deeply right-wing racial and anti-urban panics. I've talked to many conservative who seem to consider the idea of mass non-white participation in the duties of citizenship is inherently suspicious. It's an idea all decent Americans should consider abhorrent. It is also, however, a very old conservative obsession--one that goes back to the beginnings of the right-wing takeover of the Republican Party itself. [2007]

You want to stop fraud in absentee ballots, I'm all ears. Otherwise, let's you and us keep fighting.
4.29.2008 12:22am
SIG357:
The "vote fraud" fantasies are tinged by deeply right-wing racial and anti-urban panics.



If your impeccable anonymous lefty blogger says it, then it must be so, and I can only say "Darn, they found us out!"


Psst! Byrd was in the KKK.





Byrd .... he's one of your guys, right?

You want to stop fraud in absentee ballots, I'm all ears.



Any reason we can't stop fraud in other places as well? I'm all ears. Of the non-cleft sort of course.
4.29.2008 1:00am
SIG357:
it's a cast-iron case compared to winger fantasies of vote-starved felons, bronze insurrection




The amusing thing is that the "bronze" people are telling you their racist intentions, and in standard moronic liberal fashion, your reaction is to accuse the people who bring it to your attention of being racist. Man may be a rational animal, but liberals sure are not.
4.29.2008 1:03am
SIG357:
Bitter. I took the liberty of tracking down your unimpeachable source. Here we go.

It's a left blogger named "digby", quoting a lefty jurno named Rick Perlstein, who writes for TNR and the Village Voice. Perlstein in turn offers the quote bitter cites : "the Democratic Party is just as much opposed to vote frauds as is the Republican party". This quote comes from "John M Baley, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee".

Around VC, my bitter friend, this sort of thing is just laugable. There are plenty of people here who share your politics, but they don't make themselves look like fools in the process. If you are going to quote somebody to support your case then make sure it's a credible source.
4.29.2008 1:45am
Kirk:
If you sift through these links you can find a number of very interesting obviously-bogus signature issues in King County (Seattle WA), as found by a lone self-financed part-time investigator.
4.29.2008 4:20am
one of many:
But Kirk there was no vote fraud as the US Attorney determined*.

*actually it was determined that it would be impractical to link a particular person to a particular fraudulent ballot solidly enough to ensure a conviction.
4.29.2008 6:01am
Randy R. (mail):
I really like these arguments that assume that voter fraud has occured. Some people say that it must occur even if there is no evidence. Some say that logically, there must be fraud. Some say that the absence of evidence is not evidence of absense. All based on nothing more that pure speculation.

Well, that might be a good argument. But not long ago, many people were arguing that no one has ever been executed who was innocent, and they demanded to see evidence. They argued that in the absense of evidence, there cannot be any actual cases of innocents put to death.

I certainly hope the people who are arguing that voter fraud occured because the odds are that it has, also argue that innocent people have been put to death in these united states. Otherwise, these people are just disengenuous.
4.29.2008 9:21am
bittern (mail):
SIGGY, you are a brilliant dude, reduced to clatter. Or dudette, as the case may be. Of course those are point-of-view quotes. That's why I said "here's where your enemy is coming from." Just so's you'd know. The other point of view (i.e., yours) was encapsulated by the first post on the thread: "This is going to have an effect on urban democratic voting, in particular voting by the dead." It's point of view, it's not facts. Hey, in your sleuthing, did you read about the 1964 Republican memos or flyers about suppressing the vote? I didn't see a link, but I can sure imagine that millions of votes were suppressed. Just use extrapolation and good sense!!
4.29.2008 10:05am
Anon56 (mail):
Randy R,

These arguments don't assume voter fraud has occured -- it is actually well documented that widespread voter fraud has occured and is increasing. All you need to do is google the phrase "Acorn election fraud" to find numerous examples in multiple states.

The reason why these laws are needed is that the DoJ refuses to prosecute election fraud cases. There is ample evidence to investigate ACORN on RICO and other theories, but DoJ turns a blind eye. This is the real injustice.
4.29.2008 11:28am
Loren (mail):
Funny all the uproar about a simple ID to cast a vote.

But no problem (by much the same group) with ID checks (and other hoops:waiting periods, background checks, etc.) required in order to purchase a gun with which to exercise 2nd Amendment rights.
4.29.2008 12:21pm
William D. Tanksley, Jr:
"I really like these arguments that assume that voter fraud has occurred. Some people say that it must occur even if there is no evidence."

Some, oddly, say that it must not occur, and agitate to prevent any collection of evidence. What a strange world we live in.

"Well, that might be a good argument. But not long ago, many people were arguing that no one has ever been executed who was innocent, and they demanded to see evidence. They argued that in the absence of evidence, there cannot be any actual cases of innocents put to death."

Yes, it is a good argument; thank you for agreeing. And yours, by the way, is a total non-sequitur. Unless someone is proposing putting to death anyone who shows up at a polling place without an ID card, that is...

-Wm
4.29.2008 1:31pm
Kirk:
one of many,

If you look a bit more closely at the entire record, including interviews granted after he left office, you'll see that the US Attorney basically declined to investigate unless someone gave him a guaranteed smoking gun first.
4.29.2008 2:04pm
h0mi:
In a day and age where identity theft is a significant problem, you'd think there'd be at least some support for efforts to not let identity theft bleed into the electoral process.
4.29.2008 11:20pm
William D. Tanksley, Jr:
h0mi, I agree with what I think is your motivation, but I don't think it follows. Someone who's performed identity theft on you can impersonate you at the polls even if they check IDs.
4.30.2008 12:11pm